Although big data is not necessarily a “new topic,” it has become an important buzz word for businesses since its big breakout in the early 2010s. Few technology trends last more than a few years, let alone several decades, so why has big data continued to be a force in the technology sector?
There are multiple reasons, but the one that applies to every company is simple: data is critical to insight, and insight guides our decision-making processes. From personal, to professional, to financial decisions, data gives us the raw information we need to calculate the potential risks and benefits of our choices.
Just as we use data to guide these everyday decisions, businesses use big data and predictive analytics to derive insight and develop smarter strategies. That is why big data has driven growth in business intelligence (BI) and data visualization, as every company needs a plan for how it will engage with the data it collects. BI and data visualization initiatives are always evolving, as technology improves and more people learn how to use them.
Business intelligence is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help executives, managers, and other corporate end-users make informed business decisions.
So how is BI changing businesses and the overall field of play?
Business intelligence and big data can help companies create targeted marketing efforts. Big data is more accurate than ever before, and this accuracy helps companies develop concentrated marketing efforts to measure customer needs. By employing insights derived from big data, your business can make customized decisions about perceived customer requirements and design specific messages to target specific needs.
Big data can have a substantial impact on customer service. When your business derives insights from big data and predictive analytics, you know exactly what your customers want, which enables your business to keep its customer service processes proactive and upbeat. Proactive and high-quality customer service can even differentiate your company from your competitors.
With predictive analysis and proactive customer service, you can win a loyal customer base that gives you a definite edge over the competition.
A growing number of businesses are realizing technology-driven BI is crucial for decision making but, more importantly, they are working to make that information agile.
Agile business intelligence is the automation of different BI practices to help simplify how BI professionals can update
information for new queries and projects. Research from Forrester found that organizations are only making use of, "40% of structured, 31% of unstructured, and 27% of semi structured enterprise data." Increase those percentages and your organization could significantly improve decision making processes.
In order to optimize the efficiency of your data-based decision making, your business should make investing technology a priority. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems enable businesses to leverage real-time data for predictive insights and improve decision-making and performance management. ERP systems also visualize data so data and insights can be shared across the entire organization.
Data visualization is a term that describes any effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context. Patterns, trends, and correlations that might go undetected in text-based data can be exposed and realized with data visualization software. Today, companies like Grow are creating platforms that make it simple to visualize performance data and lead the conversations that keep your business on track.
So how is data visualization changing the way companies do business and the overall field of play?
In the past, big companies hosted consumer panels, which helped them learn what consumers thought about product ideas and what they thought they wanted from these products and services.
Today, data visualizations make it possible for teams to make business and product decisions faster by interpreting large sets of data in a relatively short amount of time—without ever having to speak to customers face-to-face or one-on-one.
That’s not to say there isn’t value in talking to customers—there is. Getting qualitative feedback from customers remains an essential part of improving products and growing a business. However, the ability to collect and learn from quantitative data in order to best your competition is becoming more important than ever. In short, data visualizations simplify the interpretation process and increase the efficiency of business/product development.
Data visualizations offer a way to discover relationships and patterns between business and operational activities. One way they do this is by making it easier to see how your daily activities affect your overall business performance, allowing you to discover which operational change(s) generated the change in business performance. By visualizing data, you can compare your company’s current performance with past performance in order to predict metrics such as monthly sales or KPIs.
By being able to see historical trends compared with current trends in your data, you can drill down to see what contributed to your growth or lack thereof, allowing you to either repeat what worked or change what didn’t.
It’s easy to lose sight of what you’re doing if no one is measuring progress and goals. Your team needs to see where you’ve been as a company and where you want to go.
Harnessing sales data and presenting data visually through a custom-designed dashboard is something that many companies are doing for their workforce. When your strategies are driven by gut feelings, your team struggles to see not only how they’re doing but what works and what doesn’t. They miss out on key insights that visualizations provide.
Providing a way to visualize the pipeline and measure and monitor performance can empower employees and fuel growth. In a recent study conducted by RTS Labs, visualizing data and creating dashboards grew sales by 24% and lowered sales representative attrition by 90%.
As changes in the marketplace continue to shape the future of big data, business intelligence, and data visualization, organizations will be faced with the challenge of deciding what technologies make the most sense for their operations. Leveraging the right tools could have a significant impact on everything from expense management to operational efficiency, so make sure your company chooses its BI and data visualization tools carefully.